Definition for PREJ'U-DICE

PREJ'U-DICE, n. [Fr. from L. prejudicium; præ and judico.]

  1. Prejudgment; an opinion or decision of mind, formed without due examination of the facts or arguments which are necessary to a just and impartial determination. It is used in a good or bad sense. Innumerable are the prejudices of education; we are accustomed to believe what we are taught, and to receive opinions from others without examining the grounds by which they can be supported. A man has strong prejudices in favor of his country or his party, or the church in which he has been educated; and often our prejudices are unreasonable. A judge should disabuse himself of prejudice in favor of either party in a suit. My comfort is that their manifest prejudice to my cause will render their judgment of less authority. – Dryden.
  2. A previous bent or bias of mind for or against any person or thing; prepossession. There is an unaccountable prejudice to projectors of all kinds. – Addison.
  3. Mischief; hurt; damage; injury. Violent factions are a prejudice to the authority of the sovereign. How plain this abuse is, and what prejudice it does to the understanding of the sacred Scriptures. – Locke. [This is a sense of the word too well established to be condemned.]

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